Edinburgh and the Lothians Travel Guide

Edinburgh and the Lothians Sights

Calton Hill

  • Bounded by Leith St. to the west and Regent Rd. to the south Map It
  • New Town
  • Memorial/Monument/Tomb

Published 05/04/2017

Fodor's Review

Robert Louis Stevenson's favorite view of his beloved city was from the top of this hill, and it's easy to see why. Located in the heart of the city, Calton Hill offers stunning vistas of the Old and New towns and out to the Firth of Forth, making it a popular setting for picnicking and watching festival fireworks. Great views aside, the hill is also home to a number of impressive monuments. The most notable is the so-called National Monument, also known as "Scotland's Disgrace," which was commissioned in 1822 and intended to mimic Athens's Parthenon. However, after 12 columns the money ran out, leaving the facade as a monument to high aspirations and poor fund-raising. Nearby, the 100-foot-high Nelson Monument, completed in 1815 in honor of Britain's greatest naval hero, is topped with a "time ball" that is dropped at 1 pm every day. Other monuments include the circular Corinthian Burns Monument and Dugald Stewart Monument, named for the Scottish philosopher.

The hill is also home to the City Observatory, divided into the domed Playfair House and the old Gothic Tower.

Sight Information


Bounded by Leith St. to the west and Regent Rd. to the south, Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH7 5AA, Scotland

Map It



Sight Details:

  • Nelson Monument £5
  • Nelson Monument closed Sun. in Oct.–Mar.

Published 05/04/2017


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